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Notes from the Delta - August 2013 Newsletter

From the Executive Director

Dear Team & Family,

It is with great pleasure I announce we have begun yet another year of KIPP Delta's climb up the mountain. The start of a new school year always fills me with a renewed sense of optimism about what the coming days, weeks, and months have in store. With this in mind, I wanted to offer thoughts on the state of our schools, the challenges we have to overcome, and why I am optimistic this year has the potential to be one of the strongest years in our organization’s history.

Our standardized testing results from last year indicate there are several reasons to be incredibly optimistic about the progress we made. First, we were pleased to see that we outperformed state averages in over fifty percent of tested areas! On the NWEA MAP test, the standardized test used throughout KIPP, we were incredibly proud to see that one hundred percent of tested grade levels meeting their fall to spring growth goals- a first in KIPP Delta's history. Furthermore, the percent of students on grade level and college ready increased significantly.  Finally, we are starting the 2013 school year with more students and staff than ever before.  There is no doubt that we have some incredible positive momentum in our favor as we enter the new school year. 

Despite making such positive gains, we do need to share information on a few state categorizations which will soon be made public. Arkansas, recently revised its accountability ratings through a waiver from Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Each school is now given new individualized targets or Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs), which are based on scores from the previous years.  Each school is consequently given a status of “Priority,” “Focus,” “Needs Improvement,” "Achieving" or "Exemplary" based on its ability to meet these AMOs.  While our schools met their AMOs in literacy, none of our schools met their targets in math due to a high bar of performance set in 2011-2012. As a result, despite outperforming surrounding schools and the state in many areas, all of our schools will receive the "Needs Improvement" status.  We feel strongly that this is not an indicator of the quality of our schools but rather a good reminder to continue to raise the bar.

As always, we invite you to reach out and visit our schools!  To the entire KIPP Delta Team & Family, thank you for all that you do and let's make this a very special year for our KIPPsters! 

Keep climbing,

Scott Shirey
Executive Director




Oh, the Places You'll Go!

In late May and early June, hundreds of our KIPPsters enjoyed their much-anticipated end-of-year field lessons. After working hard to earn their spot, students at KIPP Delta College Preparatory School (DCPS) and KIPP Blytheville College Preparatory School (BCPS) took off on adventures to destinations near and far. The BCPS Class of 2021 (4th Grade) spent three days in St. Louis where they toured Busch Stadium, attended a Cardinals’ game, explored the City Museum, and enjoyed an engineering presentation at Washington University. The BCPS Class of 2020 (5th Grade) visited nearly every museum and monument on their five-day stay in Washington, D.C. The long drive was well worth it for these KIPPsters who packed their days full with new experiences. The Air & Space Museum, the Capitol Building, and the Natural History Museum were some of the favorites, though riding the Metro to American University was a thrill as well. The DCPS Class of 2020 spent several days exploring another capital – Nashville, TN. Students who earned this field lesson explored the Nashville Zoo, attended a Nashville Sounds minor league baseball game, and visited The Hermatige (President Andrew Jackson’s house). Students also had the opportunity to meet some of their KIPP cousins at KIPP Academy in Nashville.

Both Classes of 2019 tested their grit on camping trips this spring. The BCPS 6th graders camped in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, while those from DCPS enjoyed Petit Jean State Park outside of Little Rock. Both groups were very new to camping, but their teamwork and optimism made for an exciting, character-building week. The Classes of 2018, from both BCPS and DCPS, each spent a week in New Orleans in June. Students enjoyed touring historical sites and museums, learning about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, dressing up for a steamboat cruise, and exploring Louisiana State University. The Class of 2017 from DCPS capped off their middle school careers with a civil rights tour through Birmingham, Montgomery, and Atlanta. The week-long road trip gave students the opportunity to see historical landmarks that they’ve been learning about for years, as well as visit some incredible museums. Before turning around and driving home, students also enjoyed a couple fun days in Atlanta at the World of Coca-Cola and Six Flags Over Georgia.



Little Bites. Big Impact.

KIPP Delta Public Schools is hosting the first annual Little Bites. Big Impact. event on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 at the Phillips Community College Fine Arts Center. Little Bites. Big Impact. is a tapas style event showcasing restaurants and chefs from around Arkansas and the Delta. Each chef will feature a “Little Bite” of their choosing at the event, and there will also be beer and wine for guests to enjoy. Attendees of the event will have the opportunity to sample each little bite, enjoy entertainment provided by the KIPP Delta choir and band, and take home a special handmade gift at the end of the evening.

KIPP Delta alumnus, David Bibbs, will be a featured pastry chef for the evening. David graduated with the Class of 2011 and now attends Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island – a competitive school with a world-renowned culinary program. Tickets are $45 in advance ($50 at the door) and sponsorships are available at three different levels. If you would like more details or are interested in purchasing tickets, you can do so here.


Also in the News

It's Back to School time.  What Supplies Does Your Student Need?

The KIPP Delta Elementary Choir will be performing at Disney World in October! Join their efforts to make the trip possible.


Announcements and Highlights

View Photos from KIPP Blytheville’s Class of 2020 Trip to DC


Upcoming Events

August 20: Little Bites. Big Impact.

October 3: Prove the Possible Gala

If you are a journalist or a member of the media and have an inquiry, please contact:

Carissa Godwin
Chief of External Affairs